February 2017

One convincing argument made by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (author of The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness) is that we intuitively misjudge the importance of the newest information, which is actually the most likely to be trivial and wrong. I wrote about this before. It’s an especially important point in the Trump era, where I […]


I have assembled a pretty comprehensive to-do list for the next while. I have assignments to grade for the environmentalism and social media course where I am a teaching assistant, and a coordination meeting with the other TA. Tomorrow, I am doing faculty and PhD student portraits for the department of political science. Saturday we […]


Coercive institutions are a dictator’s final defense in pursuit of political survival, but also his chief obstacle to achieving that goal. This book argues that autocrats face a coercive dilemma: whether to organize their internal security apparatus to protect against a coup, or to deal with the threat of popular unrest. Because coup-proofing calls for […]

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My friend Amanda Harvey-Sachez, who played a central role in the fossil fuel divestment campaign at U of T, has just been elected to the university’s governing council as one of two representatives for full-time undergraduates. Unfortunately, the student members are constrained in how they are allowed to participate in the council. Notably, they cannot […]


My friend Kieran read some poems from her evolving collection of cowgirl poetry at the monthly Common Reading performance at Toronto’s Belljar Cafe.


Saying mainstream environmentalism now reflects the interests and concerns of the rich is like coming upon a river of spawning salmon and noting the colour red. There are naturally many shades of difference. Not all of the mainstream, everywhere, has to the same extent come to embrace markets, corporations, and technologies as solutions. Nor does […]


Winter lows


in Daily updates

I haven’t been doing especially well in the last little while. To begin with, I don’t feel like I am making adequate progress on the PhD project. Also, my wrist continues to be quite painful — to a degree that impedes returning to Judo. It has been illustrating the degree to which Judo had become […]


Yesterday, Quebec’s Université Laval announced that it will become Canada’s first university to fully divest from fossil fuels: “Today, Université Laval commits to taking responsible action to switch its endowment fund investments in fossil energy to other types of investments, such as renewable energy,” announced Éric Bauce, Executive Vice Rector in charge of sustainable development, […]



Shoes off


in Photo of the day

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